CertTESOL course at ELA-Edinburgh June 5th-30th

ELA-Edinburgh is excited to announce that our Trinity CertTESOL course will run from June 5th-30th this year. You only have to read our blog from September 29th to know what benefits a CertTESOL qualification can bring to an aspiring teacher. To put it in a nutshell, this certificate is respected around the world and will open doors as you begin your ELT career. With CertTESOL in your pocket you can find jobs in places you want to be and work for schools that are well-run.



Having signed up for the course, what are you expected to do to earn your teaching certificate? It’s worth pointing out that every CertTESOL course follows the same strict guidelines laid down by Trinity. This helps to ensure that the qualification is respected wherever you want to work. What follows is an outline to what the course actually involves.

A pre-course task and interview. This is mainly aimed at evaluating your knowledge of English grammar but don’t worry, you’re not expected to be an expert! The interview gives the course tutor a chance to make sure the course is right for you and, if you’re a non-native speaker, assess your level of English. 

A total of 130 timetabled hours and 70 non-timetabled hours. This includes 6 hours of your teaching, observed and assessed, plus 4 guided hours observation of experienced teachers. You will also receive 90 hours of supervised input.

4 or 5 written assignments. These are in the form of a journal and are designed to help you reflect on the elements of the course you have just studied. As there is no test at the end of the course these take on added importance.

Teaching Practise. This unit is by far the biggest on the course, taking up 74 of the 130 scheduled hours. It covers a wide range of issues including: methodology, teaching skills, guided observation, textbook and materials evaluation as well as methods of testing.

Language Awareness and Skills. The second unit tests trainees’ knowledge of grammar, lexis and phonology and how to teach these to students.

Learner Profile. Unit 3 aims to teach you how to analyse students’ needs, design courses and teach one-one classes. It draws on the knowledge you gained in the first two units.

Materials Assignment. In this unit you will learn to produce, adapt and evaluate the materials that you use in lessons. You then use the materials you designed in a lesson observed by a Trinity moderator.

Unknown Language. The final unit examines methods and approaches suitable for beginners of a language, while avoiding use of the learners’ mother tongue.  

End of course party. Traditional and well deserved!

At ELA-Edinburgh we enhance this comprehensive course of learning by providing you with fantastic, modern classrooms with interactive smart boards and a wide range of textbooks. Though you will be led by our experienced and friendly course tutors, the whole ELA staff is on hand to help. 

You can find more information on the CertTESOL syllabus here and visit our website for more information. Alternatively, can contact us at info@elacademy.co.uk

Business English at ELA-Edinburgh from 13/2/17

Here at ELA-Edinburgh we’re excited about starting our new Business English class next Monday. The course is planned and our students are raring to go; there’s no reason why you can’t join them.


Why ELA-Edinburgh?

ELA is the perfect location to study Business English. With our fantastic interactive smart boards and extensive library of materials we are perfectly equipped to meet our students’ needs. Our wealth of experience in the corporate sector has shown us that our policy of small classes and experienced teachers means each student gets plenty of individual attention. We have learnt how to

We use a range of business materials

plan our classes to suit the needs of our students in their current or future careers. To do this we use a range of materials, from coursebooks to podcasts and newspapers.  But what is it that actually distinguishes business from more general English classes?


What is Business English?

Of course many features are the same in Business English as in other classes. As always at ELA you will learn lots of vocabulary and practise plenty of grammar. However the vocabulary that we teach in business courses is particularly suited to the world of work. This language tends to be more formal than the vocabulary found in

Learn the language you need for the work place

general or exam preparation course books. In any work situation the right language is vital to communicating with colleagues, Business English gives our students experience of what language is most appropriate for the office. As a result most of our students tell us that they feel much more confident after completing our business course.


Skills and Functions

The two main differences in Business English are the skills and tasks that we focus on. Our course equips our students with the language tools they need to progress and impress in their professional lives. Among the many tasks we practise are:

  • Presentations- get the skills you need to stand up in front of colleagues and deliver a talk
  • Emails- learn how to compose work emails quickly and logically
  • Telephoning- this is a difficult skill for many learners but vital in business. Practise in the safety of our classroom!
  • Interviewing- let’s make sure you get your dream job
  • Negotiating- get your message across in often stressful situations. We’ll use dynamic case studies to give you experience
  • Cultural Etiquette- we’ll teach you the unwritten office rules of English speaking countries


Why not join our happy students?

Our Course

Our Business English course runs from Monday 13th February every weekday, 1330-1530. We welcome students of all ages from all over the world throughout the year. All of our students benefit from regular testing and individual tutorials to focus on their progress. If you would like more information on our Business English course please get in touch by emailing us at info@elacademy.co.uk

Phrasal Verbs Practice

This week, a couple of quick exercises to help you practice some common phrasal verbs. Start with a short word search puzzle, then, use the phrasal verbs from the puzzle to fill in the empty spaces in the text below. Enjoy!

Click here for the word search activity: word search

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrasal verb. You will need to put the verb in the correct tense.
Old man Peter Reid was famous, and many (1)_________________ to him because he was particularly talented at (2)_________________ with his wife and then (3)_________________ with her by playing the bagpipes under her windows. His friends would need (4)_________________ for a night or two in between. Peter and his wife had never really (5)_________________, and his wife only (6)_________________ him because he was so famous. Peter made a good living by playing the bagpipes at weddings and parties, and he had also had a hit on Scottish radio back in the 1950s. So they never (7)_________________ of money. People loved Peter because whenever they (8)_________________ a lot of work, his serenades in the city centre would give them an excuse to stop working. He would never (9)_________________ of tunes, and it was a mystery to everyone where he (10)_________________ so many of them. Sadly, one day he died. His wife (11)_________________ telling the town about it at first, but then she (12)_________________ some newspapers to tell all his friends at once. So she went to the Aberdeen Evening Express and said, ‘I’d like tae place an obituary fur ma late husband.’
The man at the desk said, ‘OK, how much money dae ye have?’
The old woman replied, ‘£5’ to which the man says, ‘Ye won’t get many words for that but write something and we’ll see if it’s ok.’
So the old woman wrote something and handed it over the counter. The man read ‘Peter Reid, fae Kincorth, deid.’ He felt sad at the abruptness of the statement and encouraged the old woman to write a few more things, saying, ‘I think we cud allow 3 or 4 more words fer ye money.’ The old woman pondered and then added a few more words and handed the paper over the counter again. The man then reads – ‘Peter Reid, fae Kincorth, deid. Bagpipes and Ford Escort for sale.’

Click here for the key to the gap fill activity: Answer key

Let’s prepare for IELTS (Writing test advice)

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is probably the world’s most popular English language test.

You might need to take this exam for various reasons, among which are life abroad, education and work around the world. A lot of companies worldwide accept IELTS, including government, academic and employment institutions. IELTS is the only English language test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one.

In less than three hours, it will help you to assess all of your English skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Today we would like to share with you some writing tips that might be useful, if you decide to prepare for this exam.

  • During the exam you can write your answers in pen or pencil.
  • Carefully analyse each task and spend some time making notes
  • Plan your answers.
  • Write using paragraphs; put one idea in each paragraph.
  • Try not to repeat ideas using different words.
  • Avoid copying whole sentences from the question – you will receive no marks for this.
  • Always remember to stick to the topic; do not write about unrelated subjects.
  • It is important to manage your time; remember, Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1.
  • Spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and about 40 minutes on Task 2.
  • Word count matters; pay attention to the number of words required for each task; you  need to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2.
  • Your answers should be written in full; answers written in note form or in bullet points will lose marks.
  • It is recommended to avoid informal language.
  • Make sure you have time to check your spelling, grammar and punctuation; you will lose marks for mistakes. Spend just several minutes re-reading and correcting your answers.

Follow this link to listen to more tips from IELTS test takers: http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/prepare-your-test/tips-candidates

Have you ever taken IELTS test? What advice can you give to those who plan to take this test soon?


How to Improve your English

It doesn’t matter whether you are a foreign student or a native speaker, your English skills can always be improved. We would like to share several tips with you:


  • Watch films and TV programs and listen to any online radio. This will help you to improve listening skills and expand your vocabulary at the same time. If you decide to watch documentaries, films or TV programs, you can start doing it with subtitles turned on, then turn the subtitles off when the listening part of this activity becomes easier.


  • Read a lot: books, newspapers or journals, magazines, blogs, articles and other materials in English. Try to choose material that is slightly above your current level, use a monolingual dictionary if necessary (for example such dictionary as Cambridge online dictionary http://dictionary.cambridge.org/). This is also a great tip for improving your English in a technical or professional field. You need to spend only 15 minutes a day to improve achieve good results.



  • Record your monologues or answers to various tasks and keeping a diary. This allows you to use all your reading, listening and grammar skills that you’ve been practicing.


  • When you feel you are ready, surround yourself by English speakers and try to avoid using your native language as much as possible. There are many native speakers you can chat with via Skype or other programs.


  • If you do all the activities mentioned above, your progress will be great. And, of course, after such hard work don’t forget to reward yourself.


Enjoy learning English!

Edinburgh Castle – Comprehension

The One o’clock Gun is fired at 13:00 hours every day except Sunday – you can join the crowds to experience its roar.

The tradition began in 1861 to provide ships in the Firth of Forth with an audible time signal to accompany the visual signal of the time-ball dropping at the top of the Nelson Monument. This helped shipping set the maritime clocks needed to navigate the globe long before satellite navigation was available. You can hear the gun clearly from our classrooms at Edinburgh Language Academy.

You can hear daily news about Edinburgh Castle on Edinburgh Castle’s Blog


Questions true or false?

1) The gun is fired every Sunday at 1pm.

2) The gun used to be fired from Nelson’s Monument.

3) GPS wasn’t available in 1861.

4) You can’t hear the gun from our classrooms.



What is being tested here?


“Education – An advanced reading comprehension”

Read the test and then see if you can answer the questions below.  This exercise is provided by www.myenglishpages.com 


I can get two in!

I can get two in!

Education encompasses both the teaching and learning of knowledge, proper conduct, and technical competency. It thus focuses on the cultivation of skills, trades or professions, as well as mental, moral & aesthetic development.

Formal education consists of systematic instruction, teaching and training by professional teachers. This consists of the application of pedagogy and the development of curricula.

The right to education is a fundamental human right. Since 1952, Article 2 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights obliges all signatory parties to guarantee the right to education. At world level, the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966 guarantees this right under its Article 13.

Educational systems are established to provide education and training, often for children and the young. A curriculum defines what students should know, understand and be able to do as the result of education. A teaching profession delivers teaching which enables learning, and a system of policies, regulations, examinations, structures and funding enables teachers to teach to the best of their abilities. Sometimes educational systems can be used to promote doctrines or ideals as well as knowledge, which is known as social engineering. This can lead to political abuse of the system, particularly in totalitarian states and government.

Primary (or elementary) education consists of the first years of formal, structured education. In general, primary education consists of six or seven years of schooling starting at the age of 5 or 6, although this varies between, and sometimes within, countries. Globally, around 70% of primary-age children are enrolled in primary education, and this proportion is rising.

In most contemporary educational systems of the world, secondary education consists of the second years of formal education that occur during adolescence.It is characterized by transition from the typically compulsory, comprehensive primary education for minors, to the optional, selective tertiary, “post-secondary”, or “higher” education (e.g., university, vocational school) for adults.

Higher education, also called tertiary, third stage, or post secondary education, is the non-compulsory educational level that follows the completion of a school providing a secondary education, such as a high school or secondary school. Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training. Colleges and universities are the main institutions that provide tertiary education. Collectively, these are sometimes known as tertiary institutions. Tertiary education generally results in the receipt of certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees.


  1. a definition of education includes:
    a.  the process of teaching,
    b.  the process of teaching and learning
  2. Everywhere in the world children go to primary schools:
    a.  at the same age
    b.  the age may differ.
  3. tertiary education refers to:
    a.  primary education,
    b.  secondary education,
    c.  post secondary education.
  4. Tertiary education is:
    a.  optional.
    b.  compulsory


Phrasal Verbs

phrasal verbs

Here are some phrasal verbs that come up when you speak English to a native English speaker.

All of these phrasal verbs begin with the letter ‘A’

agree to I wish she would agree to my proposal.
agree with I agree with him on that point.
ask after Mr. Smith asked after John.

Can you make three sentences using each phrasal verb correctly?